DIY Ceilidh: The Re-emergence of Folk Dance in Newcastle

A look into DIY Ceilidh's re-emergence. Next on 18th November

Poppy Bedford
16th November 2023
Image Credit: @diy.ceilidh
For those of us who partake in the subcultures of Newcastle, the name Lubber Fiend will not be an unfamiliar one. Whether it’s going to watch some new experimental electronic band or excellent Trad music, the Lubber Fiend has always been a good place for art since it opened in 2022. One of their newest events, however, has ignited a debate about the re-emergence of folk dance in the city with the DIY Ceilidh’s being incredibly popular.

               The DIY Ceilidh’s started last year and, with the interest of the community that supports the Lubber Fiend, have been running semi-regularly ever since. I went to my first DIY Ceilidh last year shortly after starting at University and was pleasantly surprised to see people from my course who were regulars at the event and the venue itself, which hosts any number of other events including fundraising for Newcastle’s anarchist group, movie nights, fairs/markets and all number of other things that come with having a DIY space.

Image Credit: @diy.ceilidh on Instagram

                The DIY Ceilidh’s have followed a recent trend with the re-discovering of folk dance across the country with a lot of folk festivals now also catering to a mainstream market as the general public grows in interest. Of course, with these kinds of changes, there has been discourse between long-time participants in the festivals over the changes and how they are not necessarily for the better.

               The traditions of folk dance are wide and varied but the kind most common in Newcastle, and across the UK, has remained Ceilidh dancing and Morris dancing as both are rooted in traditions from across the UK. Newcastle currently has many clubs dedicated to these dance forms and it seems only a matter of time before a society springs up dedicated to the form.

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